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Southern Bluefin Tuna: A contested history
Adams, S. (2014). Southern Bluefin Tuna: A contested history, in: Christensen, J. et al. (Ed.) Historical perspectives of fisheries exploitation in the Indo-Pacific. MARE Publication Series, 12: pp. 173-190
In: Christensen, J.; Tull, M. (Ed.) (2014). Historical perspectives of fisheries exploitation in the Indo-Pacific. MARE Publication Series, 12. Springer: Dordrecht. ISBN 978-94-017-8727-7. XV, 276 pp., more
In: MARE Publication Series. Amsterdam University Press/Springer: Amsterdam. ISSN 2212-6260, more

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Author keywords
    Southern Bluefin Tuna Japanese tuna fishing Australian tuna fishing CCSBT history IUU history

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  • Adams, S.

    Southern Bluefin Tuna (SBT) is a threatened species of tuna. Harvested from the early 1950s the fishery provides an interesting case study of the interplay of technology and science. On the one hand, fishing effort has expanded on the resource. This has resulted in the significant reduction in the size of the stock. Indeed, by the early 1980s scientists were warning that the reduction in stock size had reached dangerously low levels. Paradoxically the stock’s demise has occurred alongside a growing body of scientific research into the fishery. Indeed, the fishery remains one of the most researched fisheries in the world today. There has also been a regional fishing organization (RFO) created to achieve a more sustainable level of harvest between the fishing nations. By 2012 both initiatives have however not produced a significant improvement in the stock’s biomass. Indeed, agreeing on a sustainable quota level has been at the centre of significant and abiding tensions between the parties. This chapter thus seeks to explain this conundrum. It will argue that the institutional setting of the fishing parties involved in the fishery is critical to understanding the tensions that have underpinned international management of the stock, the dispute over science and in explaining the precarious condition of the fishery today.

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